[productivity] someones watching

So what have I been doing all day? There are those days when it’s hard to understand what I’ve done. Often there is a feeling that it’s been a ‘good day’ or that day just sucked. It’s hard to quantify. So I considered ways that I can track what I do all day. My boss’s boss had taken the approach of letting his laptop take a snapshot of his desktop every x minutes and then assembled those images as a movie and ran through it quickly at the end of the day. For me I wanted a number of two or three.

I ended up writing a couple of very brief scripts using xprop and xwininfo to log what window on my linux box had focus. Another script would then total up the times in each window and report them. The I found that someone had created a Rescue Time which does pretty much the same thing with pretty graphs.

So now when I have one of those days when I’m not sure what I’ve done all day, I pull up my rescue time and can see that spent a lot of time in IM or email for example. That’s communications and I’ve found that for myself it leaves me feeling like I got very little done and it gives me a tangible reason to quantify a gut feeling.

The great thing is that it’s very low key and requires no data input beyond some of the labelling which is not truly required.

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